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Our standard set of power cables are unshielded Franck Tchang leashes built by inserting tiny splices of gold, silver and platinum at strategic positions within their solid-core copper hot and return leads and silver ground. Together with the simplest of brass-contact plugs this metallurgic scheme seems to grant some type of shielding effect.

As a result of the splicing and solid-core conductors these cords are both springy and delicate however. Sharp bends are verboten even though the wiry character of the cables begs for a clean layout. Since using them with the Sixpack would require serious applied force to pull them back out we passed to be safe to another set of mechanically sturdier cords.

Enter the delicate looking Crystal Cables. Their frailty is illusionary. While the core conductors are thin, the dielectric is a triple layer of tough Kapton which acts as both EMI and mechanical shield. Kapton is very hard yet flexible. The translucent outer Teflon sheath shows the braided silver shield/return. During assembly of Crystal Cables only a minute section of the Kapton-coated conductor is stripped back and inserted into the plug. The braided silver shield connects directly to the plug’s pin. This leaves virtually no unprotected area when the plug inserts into its AC socket. From experience we were confident of these cables’ mechanical integrity to unplug them by pulling on their tails.

Once a full set of these shiny silver cables were in place for comparison we unplugged them one by one from the standard power distribution and moved them over to the Sixpack. As expected from the massive shielding which the Dutch team applies to their cables, there was no sonic difference. Next.

We also own Nanotec and Harmonic Technology power cords. These are more or less conventional in that their shielding stops at the plugs leaving about two centimeters of exposed wire. Would these perform differently with the Sixpack? Yes. With both cable brands there was a difference albeit one that was very specific to the equipment.

Our Tri TRV EQ3SE phono stage suffered a bit of dulling when the Nanotec and Harmonic Technology cords disappeared inside the Sixpack tunnels. Here the ‘naked’ approach was better. Our PS Audio PerfectWave converter meanwhile got more lively and forward when its power cord was additionally shielded.

We thus conclude that the STS Sixpack can be beneficial. As with many accessories or tweaks the difference is small and very much contingent on context. Cheaper less elaborately shielded power cords would seem to be the most likely beneficiaries. This could make it attractive to deliberately settle for a set of more affordable cords and ‘finish them off’ with a Sixpack. It also upgrades up to six existing power cords.

Quality of packing:
Sixpack was hand-delivered by the manufacturer.
Condition of component received: Perfect.
Pricing: € 1.000
Suggestions: The equivalent of a tube extractor would eliminate the need to yank the cables out by their ends. The tight tolerance of the copper sleeves eliminates the use of certain oversized plugs which won’t clear their diameter.

STS Digital website